A car accident can happen to everyone, including to the most careful drivers. Other drivers on the road may not be as careful as you, which can easily lead to a collision. So, what to do after a car accident that wasn’t your fault?
You have a legal right to seek compensation for your damages. A New Mexico attorney should help you file the lawsuit and will represent your case until the very end.
Who Is Responsible for the Costs of a Car Accident?
New Mexico is a fault state. This means that the person who caused the accident is responsible for all costs. Their insurance company will cover the damages. This seems like a no-brainer, but in reality, insurance companies work for profit, and if they have to pay compensation for every accident, they will bankrupt. So, they will look for ways to reduce the settlement or deny it entirely.
Even if you had severe injuries, the other driver’s insurance company will work hard to reduce the payment. They will argue that you were partially at fault for the accident and that your damages aren’t as high as you claim.
This is why you need an attorney; they will help you calculate your damages and will not give up until the insurance company offers a suitable settlement.
How Much Can I Collect After a Car Accident?
Usually, once the insurance company covers the costs, they’ll write you a letter. The amount depends on the severity of your injuries and the type of accident.
Seeing a doctor after an accident is a must, even if your injuries don’t seem too bad. Your condition may worsen, so things could become complex when it comes to seeking a settlement.
The medical costs include medical bills, doctor visits, prescription medication, surgeries, tests, and rehabilitation.
If your car is damaged in the accident (which is very probable), you should include those damages in the claim as well (this includes a totaled vehicle)
You won’t be able to work after the accident until you heal entirely. Lost wages are a huge problem, so be sure to include those in your claim.
Pain and Suffering Damages
Although these are more challenging to calculate, you should add them, even though they aren’t typical economic damages. The pain and suffering you have after the accident can manifest in a loss of quality of life, trauma, depression, mood swings, and so on.
How to calculate them? It depends on how much the accident impacted your life.
Use the three-part formula to calculate pain and suffering:
- Hard costs (medical costs, car repairs, etc.)
- The severity of your suffering (rate on a scale of 1-5)
- Multiply the total of hard costs by the rating number.
Let’s say your costs were &50,000 and your suffering was rated 4. In that case, your pain and suffering damages should be $200,000.
The settlement amount will depend on whether or not the insurance company will agree to pay the entire amount of the damages. They may deny the claim or offer a lower settlement.
This is when you should consult with your car accident attorney. They will negotiate until you get a proper offer.
Contact an Experienced New Mexico Car Accident Lawyer at FBD Law
Never accept an offer before you talk to your lawyer. Make sure you don’t sign anything or admit any blame until you talk with your attorney. The insurers will use absolutely anything against you, so they can offer you a lower claim or deny it entirely.
Every car accident is different, but you can expect tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. The goal is to get an amount that will cover your damages and leaves you stress-free.
This can be very stressful, especially if you drove carefully and you didn’t contribute to the crash anyhow.
Your car accident attorney will gather evidence, and help you with the lawsuit. They have knowledge and experience in such cases and they know that the first offer is never the final offer.
You should be calm and focus on your healing and let your lawyer do their job.
Don’t assume that you’re saving money if you decide to do this on your own. In the end, you may end up without any settlement or with a low offer that won’t be enough to cover even your medical expenses.
Contact FBD Law for further information.